Jonnie Irwin ‘thrown on scrap heap’ by A Place In The Sun after cancer diagnosis

Former A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin has spoken out about his terminal cancer diagnosis in his most candid chat yet. The 49-year-old went public with his illness in November 2022, almost two and a half years since he was diagnosed.

Explaining why he kept his condition private for such a long time, Jonnie said he “needed money” and therefore had to keep working while undergoing treatment.

He said on the OneChat podcast: “The only reason I kept it secret is because I've got to earn, I’ve got to feed my babies, I’ve got to pay my bills.  

“As soon as you say you’ve got cancer, people just write you off, people just think you are going to cark it.

“If I was to continue to be able to provide for my family, I just had to keep it a secret and it was really difficult.”

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Jonnie said that people outside of his close circle had “no idea” he was unwell for the first 18 months.

However, once his condition became too “obvious” to hide, Jonnie confided in his bosses at A Place In The Sun mid-series.

Subsequently, his contract was not renewed.

Reflecting on that time, the father-of-three continued: “Unfortunately, one of the companies claimed they couldn’t insure me and so they didn’t renew my contract and left a massive hole in my income.

“I felt like I’d been thrown on a scrap heap. They recruited within a week and then I saw someone else doing my job.”

At the time his diagnosis was made public, a spokesperson for production company Freeform said: “No stone was left unturned in trying to enable Jonnie to continue his international filming with us during Covid but the production company were unable to secure adequate insurance cover for him.

"Whilst we were unable to continue to film abroad with him, we're delighted that he was able to remain as part of our team in the UK for exhibitions. 

“We of course understand how frustrating this must be for him at this incredibly difficult time."

Elsewhere in Jonnie’s new podcast interview, he urges people not to make the same “mistake” as he did and get critical illness cover.

He pleaded: "I didn’t take critical illness insurance out and therefore I had to keep working.  

“If I had taken the critical illness insurance out, that could’ve covered my outgoings and I probably could’ve told the world a lot sooner. I could’ve had two years of living a more open lifestyle.”

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